For seniors who are home bound, it is important to stay engaged and active in order to avoid depression, isolation and boredom, which can sometimes lead to other physical ailments such as insomnia, weight loss, body aches, and fatigue. There are things you can do to help avoid this from happening. Check out some great ideas to keep seniors engaged and active.
- Explore the world via the World Wide Web. There is so much to see and learn, it is worth the time, expense and effort of introducing the internet to our seniors. They can connect with old college friends, make new friends, or stay in touch with family and grandchildren. On the internet, they have the ability to research anything they want to learn more about. Many museums and important historical and cultural sites have online tours and galleries. The options are endless.
- It is important that seniors have a view to the outdoors. Can they see people walking by? Are there trees and shrubs or flowers within their view? Squirrels, chipmunks and birds keep all of us entertained, but the homebound find their antics especially enjoyable. A bird feeder hanging from the eve or a pole will attract many visitors that can cheer up seniors.
- Keep hands and mind active. Libraries deliver books and offer reading services. Puzzles can keep the mind active for hours. Even if the old hands cannot hold smaller puzzle pieces there are puzzles with larger pieces. Try the 50 to 100 pieces puzzles. Board games don’t have to be boring. Scrabble, solitaire and Jenga are a great way to connect generations and keep caregivers from resorting to hours of mindless TV-watching.
- Writing a letter to our military is time consuming and is a win-win for both the senior and the active duty service member. There are many organizations who will mail your letter to active duty service member. This is a great way to bring a feeling of support to our active duty members and to thank them for their service.
- Try a new hobby. Refinish a piece of furniture, fix a small appliance. Read up on how to make small home repairs. These activities can keep the mind and hands active. Learn something new. Drawing, knitting, crocheting, painting, flower arranging, calligraphy, working with modeling clay can all be done at home. You are never too old to learn something new. Learning new things can slow memory loss, increase verbal capacity, help you retain physical abilities and enjoy a sense of accomplishment.
- Volunteer work can even be done at home. Providing advice to businesses, tutoring students or teaching musical instrument lessons can all be done from the home. Call nonprofits in your area to see if there are any volunteer activities that you can help with from your home.
The important thing to remember is that homebound seniors need to be sure to keep their minds active and their hands and body moving. They can contribute to society and help themselves from falling into depression or isolation.
A few helpful websites:
Audio Books for Vision Impaired Seniors
Free and Discounted Services for Seniors and Their Caregivers
Support Our Troops, cards and letters
Depression and Older Adults
Organizations that need your help- volunteer
|Ann-Marie is a Tobacco Treatment & Systems change specialist with SRAHEC. She is a trained Tobacco Cessation Specialist and certified by NAADAC.org.|